Cheap and Fun Activities and Tours in Victoria, Canada
Victoria, capital of British Columbia, sits on the craggy southern end of Vancouver Island. With abundant parkland, it's known for outdoor activities. The city's British colonial past shows in its Victorian architecture, including stately Craigdarroch Castle mansion. Butchart Gardens, with 55 acres of vivid floral displays, plus statuary, water features and a carousel, is one of many formal gardens in the city. With a wider-metro population approaching 380,000, this picture-postcard provincial capital was long-touted as North America's most English city. Thankfully, the tired theme-park version of old-fashioned England is no more. Fueled by an increasingly younger demographic, a quiet revolution has seen lame tourist pubs, eateries and stores transformed into the kind of brightly painted bohemian shops, coffee bars, and innovative restaurants that would make any city proud. It's worth seeking out these enclaves on foot, but activity fans should also hop on their bikes: Victoria has more cycle routes than any other Canadian city. Once you've finished pedaling, there's BC's best museum, a park fringed by a windswept seafront and outdoor activities from kayaking to whale-watching. With all of these fabulous attributes, Victoria is a great place to experience, and there are several options for budget friendly activities and tours in or near the city.
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Discover the beauty of downtown Victoria on this 45-minute Beacon Hill Park carriage tour. Hop into your horse-drawn carriage and travel in style along the winding roadways round Beacon Hill Park - Victoria's oldest and, many would say, most attractive park. At your chosen tour time, meet at the corner of Belleville Street and Menzies Street, where you'll hop into your horse-drawn carriage and begin your relaxing tour through Beacon Hill Park, the oldest park in Victoria. Your experienced carriage driver will lead you past recently restored St Anne's Academy and deep into the 200-acre park, established in 1882. Hear stories of Victoria's past, present and future as you wind down quaint paths and enjoy views of tranquil ponds dotted with stone bridges and engulfed in lush greenery and vibrant flowers. You may even spot some herons. Ride by the famous Empress hotel and Church Of Our Lord, established in 1874. Wind your way back through the historical James Bay neighborhood before returning to the carriage stand to conclude your ride.
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Soar over downtown Victoria and surroundings on a thrilling, 20-minute seaplane flight. Take to the skies right from the water and enjoy an unforgettable aerial perspective of the harbor, coastline, Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains towering in the distance. With a maximum of five passengers, it's an intimate, small-group ride navigated by an expert pilot. This half-hour trip (20-min flight) is an ideal introduction to seaplane aviation. Enjoy unique grand houses perched above rugged coastline. The exhilarating spray of the water is always a highlight during take-off and landing.
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Take a sweet-smelling stroll through Victoria's famous Butchart Gardens, spanning 55 acres of beautifully designed flower beds, lily ponds, footbridges and thematic landscapes. With convenient pickup location and a flexible return shuttle schedule, it's an easy way to experience one of Victoria's most popular attractions. Visit during summer or holiday season evenings to witness special luminous displays that add an extra touch of enchantment to the gardens. You're sure to see an amazing floral display at Butchart Gardens, whatever the time of year you visit, from the emerging green leaves and bulbs of spring to summertime's perfumed flowers and fall's brilliant red and gold colors. Butchart Gardens' highlights include the Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and the magnificent Ross Fountain. It's an experience to savor while in Victoria. During the summer months, don't miss Butchart Gardens' spectacular illuminations, when garden staff use the play of light and shadow to cast a magical glow upon the shrubs, trees and flower beds. Thousands of lights, of varying intensity and color, bring out a different look and feel to the gardens. In addition, Saturday night visitors in July through to Labor Day weekend will be thrilled by the pyrotechnic marvels of one of the most extravagant firework displays in North America at no extra charge.
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Discover the native marine wildlife for which British Columbia is famous on this 3-hour bird and sea lion-watching tour from Victoria. Meet your guide and group of fellow nature-lovers on Wharf Street in Victoria. Hop into your high-speed, inflatable Zodiac, a tough, agile vehicle perfect for up-close wildlife encounters. With your small group of 12 passengers, don the full-length cruiser suits, hats and gloves provided for your comfort. Head out into the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where the Salish Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. As you take in the surrounding scenery, listen to commentary from your naturalist guide. Learn about the area's ecosystem, history, flora and fauna. Listen for the characteristic cacophony of the 500-lb California Sea Lions, lounging on the rocks after a tough day chasing their meals. Watch the Dall's porpoises race your boat, zig-zagging off the prow of the boat. Take photos of curious seals with glossy coats and twitching whiskers. Enter quiet coves to watch great blue herons stalking their prey in shallow waters. Watch bald eagles resting on rocky outcroppings. Pass lighthouses, lonely archipelagos and see the famous rugged landscape of the Pacific Northwest coastline. Your tour ends back at your departure point after 3 hours. This tour is seasonal and only operates from October through to April.
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